West London Girl

The Washed-Up Socialite


'Claudia frantically types a name she hasn’t heard of into her email’s keyword search '


Claudia is super cool. She gets invited to all the best launches, parties and previews.

Claudia is the scene – if she’s not there it’s not happening. Her insta-game is second to none. Always just out of shot when Tatler’s photographer comes around, she obsessively checks Bystander all the same.

Hang on. SHIT! Wait! Bear with.…

What? Where was this Hugo? Why would you say something and not tell me? Well where did you see it? No, hang on, where?

Claudia frantically types a name she hasn’t heard of into her email’s keyword search. Shit! Buggery BUGGERY! She doesn’t even know the brand, and definitely wasn’t at Annabel’s for the launch.

It might be okay – she probably got an invite that passed her by. She is incredibly busy. She twitches as Mail dredges up search results.

What the buggery, BUGGERY bollocks? Did a buggering new intern accidentally cut her from the invites list?

Shit, bugger, bollocks. BUGGER!

Claudia paces the drawing room, massaging one temple as Hugo tentatively reminds her they’re late for Julia’s kitchen supper. Claudia doesn’t hear him.

Her mind swims, boggles; what could she have done to put someone’s back up? Who was upstaged by her nod to couture? She must’ve dressed too extravagantly last week.. Which clueless young upstart deemed her unhip?

Whose launch was it again? Do they have a PR? Shit! Bugger, bollocks. She racks her brain for a contact to email. And WHY is Hugo so calm in the face of disaster?

‘Why don’t you just go ahead without me, if you’re so keen to be on time?!’

The melodrama is lost on poor Hugo.

“But she’s your oldest friend darling, I’ve barely spoken to the woman since she slept with our best man; and that was 13 years ago! Please, be reasonable darling ‘

“Was it my hair? I told you it was too done, I said it, remember! I told you! I said it at the time, I knew I looked like an old Dame!

Or, no! They must’ve been threatened! They saw me FRow at the couture shows; I’m telling you! The Shoreditch upstart wants to replace us with hipsters from Manchester. This is exactly how it starts Hugo… Hugo. Hugo! Don’t you understand?‘

Claudia’s pacing becomes more frantic, her voice uncharacteristically shrill.

‘No, I will not be reasonable Hugo! You saw what happened at Vogue!’

Breaking into a full-blown quiver;

‘Well? WELL? Who the buggery bollocks do you imagine’s next? Tatler? Bazaar? They’re edging us out! Aren’t they? For fuck’s sake Hugo! Will you listen! Hugo! Well? Which is it?’

Hugo swallows and gathers his breath,

‘Darling, I’m sure that’s not the case, and isn’t the new editor of Vogue from London, not The North?’ Hugo makes The North sound like a communicable disease, contractable by its very mention.

‘Darling, Julia’s supper started half an hour ago, and we still haven’t called a car. You know I’d much rather stay home with you, but you can’t let them down – everyone will be waiting. You know how excited they get when you’re coming!’

‘Gosh, yes. Yes, sorry’ Claudia stops pacing, suddenly meek; humbled by the stark reminder of her humanitarian duties.

‘I’ve no idea what came over me!’ she says light as air. ‘Okay sweetheart, have you got the bottle? The 1972? Perfect! You hold the car whilst I find my bag’  .

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